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Brand Authenticity in Content Marketing

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When it comes to brand authenticity, did you know that listening to Pharrell could make you one of the greatest storytellers?

Pride yourself in your individuality, that’s what makes you who you are.

Pharrell said that! And we agree, especially when it comes to marketing your brand using authenticity.

For example, you’ve just launched a financial service brand. A challenger and renegade, it’s groundbreaking, and some even say it’s 2016’s equivalent to the Enigma machine. What’s more, you and you’re new brand are at the centre of a media storm. As such clients are banging down your door, anxious to get their teeth into the software as soon as it’s out of BETA.

Yikes, you’re not even nearly ready for that. To keep everyone at bay, put some content on the blog. But what to say?

‘27 ways your bank account is like a crocodile in Bermuda shorts’

No, I don’t think that’s quite right.

A sprint for digital space results in headlines such as this, bland, irrelevant but you kind of want to click it and yet, you don’t want to buy anything.

It’s true that digital listicle articles use eye catching headlines to yield a large clickthrough.

Articles somewhat relevant to the audience, tickling engagement with ‘curiosity gap’ stories and stuffed with a little sensationalism – usually a product link is in there too – were made popular by Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Why wouldn’t it work for brands?

It’s also true that clickbait articles are quick to write and quick to read. Good for budgets and while fun, they unfortunately greatly reduce real engagement.

Agencies and brands are more interested in developing thoughtful and sophisticated multi-channel content these days. In the last few years we’ve seen branded films worthy of Cannes, investigatory journalism carried out by brands and cinemagraphs leaving reaction GIFs reeling in their wake (OMG!).

If you know your brand’s reason for being, you’re a storyteller in the making

So, this is where Pharrell really comes into his own. A noteworthy storyteller, bringing together atmospheric ideas and unique rhymes, creating a content experience holistic to his ethos, origins and purpose. We love Pharrell, and we think applying his approach to marketing is a match made in heaven.

Brands that have Pharrell’s approach nailed (albeit, they may not have made this comparison) are creating heart-rendering, truthful content that resonates with people all over the world because they recognise the purpose of the content. For example, P&G’s ‘Thank You Mom’ film celebrates mothers who raised Olympians ahead of the Sochi Olympics. Their reason for being is to nurture mothers, who in turn nurture champions. No other brand is saying that, but a vast majority of mothers, fathers and children, are.

It requires a resource commitment, but it’s worth it to leverage genuine interest from prospects and customers. When visits and conversion are driven by authentic engagement, your brand’s content has truly spoken to, and stayed, with your audience.


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Sharon Flaherty

Hi, I’m Sharon the Managing Director of BrandContent. Day-to-day I oversee client satisfaction and carry out strategic client work. I work on both established financial services brands as well as challengers and love working on both. In a previous life, I was a journalist at the Financial Times and worked in-house for brands including the MoneySuperMarket Group and leading their Content, PR and Social divisions.

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